Friday, October 30, 2015

June 11, 1885: Turner Graham and wife

Today we learn about a lynching in Ohio through the pages of The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) dated June 14, 1885:

Killed by a Mob.

CINCINATI [sic],  June 13.—At Osgood, Ohio, Turner Graham and wife (colored), were killed by a mob, armed with shotguns, after midnight Thursday. Graham is a barber, and both he and his wife were addicted to drink and were qurrrelsome [sic]. They were harmless to others. they had been away during the fore part of the night and when thery [sic] returned the mob riddled them with shot. The coroner began an inquest yesterday, but as yet no arrests have been made.


The Thomas County Cat (Colby, Kansas) dated June 25, 1885:

At Osgood, O., Turner Graham and wife (colored) were killed by a mob armed with guns one night recently. The pair were considered obnoxious by the mob that wiped them out.


The Hicksville News (Hicksville, Ohio) dated September 24, 1885:

Died of a Broken Heart

The wife of Wynant Mills, recently of Osgood, Darke County, was buried at Sidney recently. She died of a broken heart, after having lived happily thirty-four years, with the exception of the last three months. Her Husband [sic], Wyant  [sic] Mills, is in jail at Greenville, Darke County, under indictment of murder in the first degree, he being one of four persons who shot and killed at Osgood, last June, Mrs. Turner Graham, a black woman, the particulars which were published at the time of the tragedy. The men arrested for the crime were Dr. A. Greer, Job Gosley, Wynant Mills, and Isaac Medford, all prominent citizens of Osgood, and the latter the Mayor of the village. They were all recently indicted for murder in the first degree, and are now in jail at Greenville.


Following is the "particulars" published by The Hicksville News in June:

A colored man named Turner Graham and his wife were killed by a mob at Osgood, Ohio. The pair were quarrelsome and addicted to drink, though quarrelsome and addicted to drink, though harmless otherwise. They had been away from home on a spree, and when they were riddled with shot.

It is interesting that the newspaper's coverage of the lynching was so sparse while the article about the men who committed the lynching was more informative. There seemed to be much less compassion for the murdered than for the woman who died from "a broken heart" because her husband was in jail for murder.  It is unusual that there were arrests made and even more unusual that there were indictments. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

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